Am I going to stay at AOL or start another company?

I’ve been getting a ton of questions over the past five days, but the by far the most frequent is “are you going to stay at AOL or start another company?!”

I’m going to answer it here so folks can stop speculating on it:

I’m staying at AOL.

Now, I don’t have to stayI WANT TO STAY. As you’ve read in the papers AOL is moving from the walled-garden approach to an open-platform company. In fact, that process is complete at this point, so now the question is where can we take it?

It’s pretty exciting to be part of a transformation like this and I’m going to put all my energy into it. For me this is more exciting than doing another startup to be honest. Look at it this way, I’ve done three or four startups since I worked for SONY back in 1994/95. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve been part of a big company doing big things. At SONY I was 23 years old and was sitting in the basementI couldn’t get anything done. I fought my way to the CEO at SONY and told him to buy Lycos and Yahoo and he didn’t do it even though the price would have been less then the Last Action Hero!!!

At AOL I don’t have to fight to get to the CEO and senior management teamI can send them an IM or go to lunch with them any time I want! In fact, I’m part of the executive team and they’ve embraced me and my team with open arms. I’ve known members of the executive team at AOL for over 10 years in some cases, so there’s a lot of history and trust between us.

It’s not often you’re given an opportunity like we’ve been given so, there’s no place I’d rather be, and I’m not going anywhere. Thanks for asking. 🙂

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